Sunday, February 6, 2011

George and Canada win gold


2011 Winter Universiade

Women's hockey: Canada makes it back-to-back gold

Feb. 5, 2011

ERZURUM, Turkey (CIS) – Canada successfully defended its Winter Universiade title in women's hockey on Saturday afternoon defeating Finland 4-1 in the gold-medal final, a Cemal Gursel Arena.

IIHF game summary: Team Canada website:

2011 Winter Universiade website:

Canada also won gold in 2009 when the sport made its Universiade debut in Harbin, China, thanks to a 3-1 win over the host team.

The red-and-white squad comprised exclusively of Canadian Interuniversity Sport all-stars finished the 2011 tournament with an unblemished 7-0 record including a 2-1 shootout victory over Finland (5-1-1) in their preliminary round opener on Jan. 27.

"It's a great moment for us. We didn't play of best game today. We did a lot of good things but we struggled a little bit in our zone. But in the end, we're a team that came together over the two weeks and we accomplished what we came here to do," said Team Canada head coach Les Lawton. "After we took a three-goal lead we felt pretty comfortable. I didn't think they could score four on us."

"Over the past two weeks, we tried to do things that would help develop the game in other countries and I think we were successful. Our players did a great job of stepping up and embracing the other teams. You could see we have the respect of the other countries and that's very rewarding," added the Concordia University bench boss.

"Finland came out really strong today. It was a tough game all the way through. We came here with a goal and we knew what we wanted to do. We're really excited to come out of this game on top. It's an unbelievable feeling right now," said team captain Andrea Ironside.

"We came in as defending champs so we had some pressure on ourselves but we played through it all. I think we did a great job of stepping up to the challenge," added the Wilfrid Laurier rearguard from Collingwood, Ont., one of six returnees from the 2009 championship team. "We are overjoyed with everything, from the organizing committee to the facilities and the people. Turkey has been truly phenomenal."

Four different players scored for Canada including University of Montreal's Kim Deschênes of Saint-Quentin, N.B., Guelph's Jessica Zerafa of Mississauga, Ont., as well as McGill teammates Ann-Sophie Bettez of Sept-Îles, Que., and Carly Hill of Dorval, Que.

Wilfrid Laurier netminder Liz Knox of Stoufville, Ont., made 20 saves to earn her fourth win in as many starts.

Canada fired 34 shots at Finnish goalie Anna Vanhatalo including a 13-7 advantage in the first period and a 12-4 edge in the second.

Deschênes, who found the back of the net for a fifth straight match, opened the scoring with 91 seconds left in the first frame when she beat a defender, kicked the puck to her stick and beat Vanhatalo up top. It marked the third time in the competition that Deschênes scored the game's first goal.

Zerafa tallied what would be the game-winner 4:01 into the middle stanza. She took advantage of traffic in front of the net to roof a rebound over Vanhatalo's right shoulder for her fourth of the tourney.

After Bettez made it 3-0 late in the second period with her fifth goal of the event, Finland came back to within two 2:19 into the third when Venla Hovi buried a rebound past Knox during a power play.

Hill, who was also part of the 2009 gold-medal team, put the game away with a power-play marker with 3:33 left on the clock.

GAME NOTES: In addition to Ironside and Hill, other 2009 returnees included University of Alberta's Andrea Boras of Calgary, York's Kelsey Webster of Duncan, B.C., Moncton's Mariève Provost of Laval, Que., and York's Courtney Unruh of Fort St. John, B.C... Wilfrid Laurier forward Candice Styles of Orangeville, Ont., who picked up an assist in the final, and Saskatchewan's Breanne George of Saskatoon both finished with a team-leading 12 points, good for sixth in the tournament scoring race... Styles finished third in goals with eight, while George was tied for fourth with seven... Brock goalie Beth Clause of Hamilton, who was Knox's backup in the final, didn't allow a goal on 25 shots in 200 minutes of action in the tournament to finish first in goals against average (0.00), save percentage (1.000) and shutouts (3)... Know, who allowed three goals in 225 minutes of play, finished second in GAA (0.80) and save% (.921)...

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